'IT'S A STITCH-UP' MP Jason Costigan fronted media yesterday to talk about the bikini scandal.
'IT'S A STITCH-UP' MP Jason Costigan fronted media yesterday to talk about the bikini scandal. Stuart Quinn

Whitsunday MP keeping 'abreast' of tourism struggles

WHAT'S good for the goose is good for the gander as Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said he'd happily get snapped in Speedos after being called a "sleazebag" by the deputy premier for taking photos with bikini-clad women.

Mr Costigan appeared on The Project over the weekend, defending his actions and even bearing a little skin after Jackie Trad publicly shamed him on Twitter for celebrating World Bikini Day with a pair of scantily clad women from the UK, sunbaking in his electorate.

"I'm not part of the loony left, I do things a bit differently," Mr Costigan said on television, and was quick to bite back. "Jackie Trad is off her rocker, off her head and out of line," he said.

When Mr Costigan fronted local media on Monday, he was again quick to come out swinging against Ms Trad and even journalists who questioned whether or not he was looking at the women's breasts.

"It's outrageous of the deputy premier to say that, she should apologise," he said.

"The question's out of line, I wasn't staring at the breasts of anyone - I'm not saying it's been doctored by the deputy premier, but (she) is being a little bit sneaky in what she's put out there for public consumption. "She needs to have a good look at herself in the mirror."

The screenshots were deception, according to Mr Costigan, who has two daughters and was surprised by the amount of support he had from all walks of life.

 

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The screenshot Jackie Trad is using to brand Jason Costigan a "sleazebag”. x

"I'm not everyone's cup of tea but a lot of people who are Labor supporters have been on social media and they have given her a touch up, what is she, the fun police? Is she Constable Jackie Trad in charge of the fun police," he asked.

Political correctness, social conservatism and a little bit of digital trickery are all to blame for the fiasco, he says, where the MP was just trying to have a bit of fun and promote the Whitsunday region.

"Political correctness is on steroids, it is out of control and a lot of people no matter their politics or political allegiances, they don't like it," Mr Costigan said. "Those two ladies were very happy in obliging and participating ... you can see from their body language they were happy as Larry.

"There has been a bit of trickery on behalf of the deputy premier ... she would have got her minions ... they would have tweaked it and played with it and mucked it around just to stitch Costo up." Mr Costigan said the tourism industry was hurting since Cyclone Debbie and that it was a timely promotion with the story making headlines even across to the UK, lamenting the death of fun and the Aussie way.

"To get the tourism aspect of the Whitsundays in an English newspaper at this time, that's no mean feat, it's not about me, it's about the tourism industry," Mr Costigan said.

"That's the way the world's going and that's a shame. We can't have a laugh at ourselves and that larrikinism that was the Australian way that people fought for and worked for and lived for is disappearing.

"For me it was an opportunity to get a message out that the Whitsundays is open for business and part of that is celebrating World Bikini Day."